Worship – We did not miss one Sunday of worship during this pandemic. Our services seamlessly transitioned to online offerings that now reach a global audience. There are currently almost 70 services available for viewing. With restrictions softened, we are now able to worship simultaneously in-person and online.
Children, Youth, and Family Ministry – We were able to pivot in this program area as well. Sunday school continued online in the spring and now offers in-person formation. Our 1st Communion students participated in online preparation and received the sacrament this fall. Our Confirmation program has adopted a hybrid model for instruction. We were even able to offer a virtual VBS this summer! In addition, we produced regular online offerings for parents faced with the challenge of raising Christian children in these uncertain times.
Music Ministry – Through the wonders of technology we continued our strong musical tradition with virtual choirs throughout the spring, summer, and fall. We are now able to mix in-person rehearsals into our programming.
Adult Programming – Without missing a beat, we continued formation opportunities for our adults. A daily online devotion continues. Multiple weekly Bible studies reach our various demographics. Forever 50 is even meeting in-person this fall!
Preschool Ministry – Ascension Preschool is a strong ministry and outreach of our congregation. While forced to close in the spring, we were able to re-open to in-person learning (with many additional safety regulations) this fall.
This pandemic had a catastrophic economic impact on many churches, organizations, and businesses. At Ascension, we’ve paid very close attention to our income and expenses over these last months. Fortunately, we have been very blessed by continued support and reduced expenses. We’ve also benefited from sizable grant/loan money from our government. Additionally, several generous members have donated time and resources to support our ministry. Because of those factors, we have been able to narrowly sustain. However, if not for a one-time relief grant from our government, Ascension would be forecast to finish 2020 with a $50,000 deficit.
The challenge ahead, however, is far more uncertain. In a normal year, we rely on a sharp increase in attendance and giving over the fall to finish the year strong. Although in-person programming is phasing back in, we have not seen as strong of a surge this year. Additionally, our Preschool has reduced class size and lower enrollment due to the pandemic. Consequently, we will not benefit from the same level of income. Because of these factors, we need your support now more than ever!
We need you as we look to 2021! We are currently formulating plans for the upcoming ministry year, and desperately need you to allow ministry to continue. A pledge card is included in this mailing. You may drop it in the church mailbox at any time, mail it over, or complete digitally at www.ascensionlutheran.org/pledge. We give God thanks for your past, present, and future generosity. Together, we can navigate the uncertain waters ahead!
Yours in Christ,
Pastor Justin Lathrop
Pastor Flora Hartford
Pastor E. Patty Avila